The Greatest Statesman? 28 replies

Please wait...

Datarock VIP Member

Resynchronizing with RealitySorry, You're Not a Winner

65,745 XP

18th April 2006

0 Uploads

6,117 Posts

0 Threads

#1 10 years ago

As we all know, if one were to write one comprehensive book on everything that had happened throughout history over the last 4000 years, it would be about as long as the Nile. However, there are certain matters that would be of extreme importance in such an enterprise, and one would be the study of high politics. The statesmen who, over the centuries have made great strides throughout history and irrevocably changed its course to varying degrees.

There's the usual candidates like Bismarck, Stresemann, Wilson, Atatürk and Mandela. But what about the less prominent ones, or the more controversial ones? Churchill, Lincoln, Metternich, Ghandi, Richelieu or Kissinger? Who would you consider, to be the quintessential statesman, someone of whom you could say: "(S)He was truly one of the greats."

Elucidate.




AlDaja

SFC III Troubleshooter.

50 XP

5th September 2006

0 Uploads

11,263 Posts

0 Threads

#2 10 years ago

I'd nominate Reagan, FDR and Teddy Roosevelt. Each brought America through difficult times and saved us from despair.:)




Mr. Pedantic

I would die without GF

234,620 XP

8th October 2006

0 Uploads

23,127 Posts

0 Threads

#3 10 years ago

I'd probably nominate Julius Caesar or Josef Stalin.

Arguably, without Julius Caesar, Britain would never have become 'romanized', and therefore would not have the technological prowess to become a world great one and a half millennia on. And that pretty much affects everything to do with the United States, the rest of the Commonwealth, China, Japan, etc. And that's discounting the effects that JC had on the formation of the Roman Empire, etc.

Stalin. The guy who turned a backward, fading agricultural power into a modern, technologically advanced (albeit poor) superpower, enough to challenge the United States for four decades. The Cold War arguably brought on some of the most advanced technology in the world, in the fields of communications, weapons technologies, materials technologies, and of course, the Space Race. Without the adversarial influence of the Soviet Union, I doubt half of that would be here today.




AlDaja

SFC III Troubleshooter.

50 XP

5th September 2006

0 Uploads

11,263 Posts

0 Threads

#4 10 years ago

Stalin... :Puzzled:...Nor the millions of his own people that he killed. Glad he died paranoid, alone with only his conscious and has housekeeper for company.




Karst

I chose an eternity of this

50 XP

6th January 2005

0 Uploads

4,505 Posts

0 Threads

#5 10 years ago

AlDaja;4250992I'd nominate Reagan,(...)[/quote]

You can't be serious. He supported a terrorist group with money made from illegal arms deals to islamist extremists in Iran (Iran-Contra scandal). He sent weapons to the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, which turned out to be a great choice in the long run. Basically made it possible for the Taliban to seize power. He started the "War on Drugs", we all now how great those billions of dollars of taxpayer money were put to use. He built up the defense budget by record amounts for peacetime, and apparently used that for the shadowy invasion of Grenada.

His economic policies were also not nearly as great as they're often portrayed. The tax cuts led to a significant increase in Public debt. Supporters of his tax policies point out that they led to an almost doubling of income tax receipts 1980-90. But when adjusted for inflation, that figure is much lower. The aver annual real growth per year in income tax receipts per person was much lower than in 1990-2001. The disinflation policies had been initiated by Chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker before Reagan assumed office. The economy was further fueled by the 1986 drop in oil prices which Reagan had nothing to do with.

And job growth at an annual average of 2.1% is not outstanding but average for a 20th century presidency.

(...)FDR and Teddy Roosevelt. Each brought America through difficult times and saved us from despair.:)

Good choices.

As for my own choice(s), I'll have to think of someone.

[quote=Archmage Cleps;4251120]Stalin. The guy who turned a backward, fading agricultural power into a modern, technologically advanced (albeit poor) superpower, enough to challenge the United States for four decades. The Cold War arguably brought on some of the most advanced technology in the world, in the fields of communications, weapons technologies, materials technologies, and of course, the Space Race. Without the adversarial influence of the Soviet Union, I doubt half of that would be here today.

Stalin is not solely responsible for shaping the Soviet Union. Quite the contrary, the transformation into an industrialized nation was started by Lenin, Stalin at best continued what he had started.

Also, Stalin died in 1953, long before any great technological advancements of the Cold War.




AlDaja

SFC III Troubleshooter.

50 XP

5th September 2006

0 Uploads

11,263 Posts

0 Threads

#6 10 years ago

To understand the 80's economy as it was and where it came from, you'd have to take a look at the mess we made of it before Reagan took over. He was reelected because of the changes that were slowly being seen durring his first term and the progress with the Soviets. Even Reagan said not all of the damage would be corrected durring his time in office, but we had to start somewhere. Bush Sr. and Clinton rode on the sucesses implimented by Reagan's economic stimulus - to which even Clinton was was humble enough to admit (to some degree). Those "hurt" by the corrective actions were those who benefited from the corruption and/or programs funded by tax payers and were the loudest to object. Hindsight is 20/20...leaders don't always now what will happen in the long run. Reagan was not perfect, but he always did what he felt was right by the people and for our allies and those striving for something better. It's quick to point out his errors, but easy to omit his accomplishments. Regardless, history has sided to his favor, so to argue the point makes no difference, he is immoralized more for his accomplishments than his faults, and that in the end is what has made him a great statesman in the eyes of American's and those around the world who remember.




Locomotor

in spite of erosion

50 XP

13th May 2004

0 Uploads

3,490 Posts

0 Threads

#7 10 years ago

Any official, whether good or evil, had merely influence on his side, not any sort of superhuman quality, and I see no reason to call great any man for his ability to influence alone.

Boo on statesman, all of them. Ordinary people do extraordinary things every day, all the time, they just aren't in positions of power. Let's praise them instead.




Karst

I chose an eternity of this

50 XP

6th January 2005

0 Uploads

4,505 Posts

0 Threads

#8 10 years ago
AlDaja;4251153Hindsight is 20/20...leaders don't always now what will happen in the long run. Reagan was not perfect, but he always did what he felt was right by the people and for our allies and those striving for something better. It's quick to point out his errors, but easy to omit his accomplishments. Regardless, history has sided to his favor, so to argue the point makes no difference, he is immoralized more for his accomplishments than his faults, and that in the end is what has made him a great statesman in the eyes of American's and those around the world who remember.

I just don't agree with him being a great leader, that's all. His economic policies are pretty much the opposite of what I would support, and I can hardly agree that history has remembers his accomplishments more than his faults. Pretty much every American I know considered him a horrible president, particularly my family. My father mentioned sometime during Bush's first term that "he make s Reagan look good".

It's undeniable that, weather you agree with him or not, his policies had lasting effect. However I just wouldn't group in the same region of immensely influential leaders such as Napoleon or Atatürk.

To name another leader that shaped the world to come, albeit a very obvious one, I'll mention Hammurapi. Formulating the first Code of Laws can obviously be considered immensely important.

Edit again: A less-known leader of great significance was Toussaint L'Ouverture, leader of the Haitian revolution, which led to the forming of one of the first republics in the Americas, and had lasting and crucial influence on movements for the abolition of slavery.




Octovon

Spaceman

54,945 XP

5th August 2003

0 Uploads

5,317 Posts

0 Threads

#9 10 years ago

Sir John A. Macdonald, the first Prime Minister of Canada. He was an alcoholic, accepted bribes (sounds like every politician doesn't it?), and helped bring about the Confederation of Canada in 1867. He accepted bribes from the Canadian Pacific Railway Company so that they would win the contract to build the first transcontinental railway in Canada, and although his government fell as a result of the scandal in 1873, he managed to get re-elected as Prime Minister in 1878.

Here's aprocryphal story about Macdonald during an electoral debate:

in which Macdonald was so drunk he began vomiting while on stage. His opponent quickly pointed this out and said: "Is this the man you want running your country? A drunk!" Collecting himself, Macdonald replied "I get sick ... not because of drink [but because] I am forced to listen to the ranting of my honorable opponent."

He may not be the greatest statesman internationally, but he was perhaps the most influential and important politician Canada has ever seen.




AlDaja

SFC III Troubleshooter.

50 XP

5th September 2006

0 Uploads

11,263 Posts

0 Threads

#10 10 years ago

Keep meaning to add another Statesman I admired: The late Anwar Sadat (president of Egypt durring the 70's and early 80's). Sadat had a very good grasp of events and personalities in the Middle East and was pivotal in truly wanting and encouraging peace between Israel and his country and other Arab Nations. Unfortunately, It alienated him from his brothern and of all people Jimmy Carter - no surprise there:rolleyes:. Sadat was also openly opposed to the fundamentalist movement that had hijacked Islam in Libya and Iran. He also did not make friends with the Soviets; denouncing propaganda campaigns aimed at villainizing American's (as Sadat had come to learn a great deal about the American people, and knew the rhetoric to be false), that were directed toward Germany, Austria and Eastern Europe. Sadly, he was assassinted by Muammar Al-Qaddafi's radical forces because he chose to ally himself and his nation with the US and continue efforts to smooth relations between his country and Israel.